Archive for the ‘Christian Service’ Tag

In the Name of Jesus, Shut Up! Battling Those Pesky Internal Voices   Leave a comment

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Sometimes I sit and wonder who my enemies are. Usually I find that the primary ones I face today are the demons within. They love telling me how I’m not good enough, talented enough, popular enough, skilled enough, worthy enough, known enough to do all of this writing for God’s kingdom work. They also say all of the above about me thinking I can make it as writer and an entrepreneur, running a business of my own that is off to a painstakingly slow start.

My #1 enemy today is within, and it is the voice of self-doubt, lack of self-confidence, and poor self-esteem. These voices have their moments with me as I still trudge on to get better, do more, and hone my skills. They interrupt me when I’m writing and even coaching. They look over my shoulder when I take time to dream of what is still to come. They get agitated when I have those moments of thankful connectedness with God who trusts me, cares for me, inspires me, energizes me, loves me and believes in me.

This war within is more prominent than I desire. It is easy to become upset with myself when those voices of dissent speak because they bring with them their friend “guilt” who tells me I should feel even worse because I’m allowing them to hurt me so badly. It becomes layers of negative pressure that are difficult to overcome. This weight can be burdensome enough to stop me in my tracks at times, winning the day by overwhelming my willpower.

Thank God this is not the end of my story. This is never the end of my season. Feelings like that can sometimes last a moment, a few hours, and at their worst a few days. But they don’t last. God is always faithful in reminding me just how worthy I really am. It is because of him that I can stand up in the middle of the storm and declare to all of those voices, “In the name of Jesus, shut up!” When this happens I sit up straighter, smile while I’m working, walk taller, write faster, coach better, study and learn feverishly, and always, always feel more blessed than I know how to handle. It is the confidence that comes when you know beyond doubt that God is with you. You can feel it!

It is God who has called me into this new arena of ministry. It is God who has gifted me with the heart and passion for this work. It is God who has given me the opportunities to advance my skills to serve people in specific ways to help them in the areas of their lives where they are stuck, especially spiritually. It is God who receives all of my praise and thanksgiving. All of this is because it is God who reminds me frequently that I really can do all things in his name!

It is God who lifts me up out of the darkness where those voices reign, and conquers them with compassion, confidence, and care. Those voices are a part of me that still need work. But with God’s help, I know they will be overcome and that they will become voices that cheer me on as I move forward, deeper into God’s call. This is where victory is found. The Holy Spirit resides within me and wins every time when I avert my eyes away from my self-defeating mirror to the Lord of love.

Today, I’m praising God from whom all blessings really do flow.

Wheelhouse   1 comment

How does God best use you?  I could go on forever about spiritual gifts, their uses and abuses, and how many folks get lost in search of theirs because they won’t accept assistance.  What I am talking about now is your “wheelhouse.”  A wheelhouse is to a baseball batter that one sweet spot where a pitch comes in and you can knock it out of the park every time.  In your experience, what would you call your wheelhouse? Read the rest of this entry »

A Prayer for Leaders   3 comments

I belong to seemingly countless email groups that keep me informed in the world of religion, culture, and ministry.  One of those groups (smart ministry and preaching unleashed) sent an email yesterday with a prayer for all of their subscribers who are mostly ministers and church leaders.  I was moved to hear such a prayer for me and simply want to pass this along to all who dare to read it.

My challenge to those of you who are not in ministry or church leadership positions is to pray this prayer for your pastor and other leaders.  It isn’t very often we ministers hear of such prayers being offered for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Encore   Leave a comment

Matthew 15:29-39.

There are countless places we could go with a text like this.  Everybody ate and was satisfied.  What happened with the leftovers?  What are the significant points to be made of the numbers of loaves and fishes this time?  …and so on…

What jumped off the page at me while reading this today involved none of that, but rather where in Matthew’s Gospel this appears.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Can’t   Leave a comment

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes look in the mirror and see glaring back at me nothing but my own limitations.  We are finite creatures with physical, emotional, and spiritual limitations.  There are some things that we simply cannot do.

The disciples were in a situation with Jesus one day and what they saw were limitations.  A huge crowd was gathered and meal time rolled around.  They suggested sending them away when Jesus asked what was in the pantry.  “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.” (Matthew 14:17, NIV).  ONLY.  This is all we have.  You can’t get there from here.  Here is the need and we can’t meet it.  We can’t.

Where we see limitations, God sees opportunity!

We know from the text that Jesus took those loaves of bread and two fish and miraculously multiplied them to feed the crowd of 5,000 men, plus the women and children present who were not counted.  You and I can look all around us and see ministry needs.  We need to reach our community for Christ.  We need to minister to real needs of hurting people.  We need to not only help groups and organizations that are making a Kingdom difference in our neighborhood and world, but we need to also be busy about this work ourselves!

How do we do this?  How do we meet these needs?  If God has unlimited resources, unlimited love, and unlimited compassion for our world, then why would we want to put our “limitations” in between Him and the ministry He calls us to perform?  There is no answer to that question.

When you sense God’s leadership in your life or your church, look to the Resource and not your own resources.